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Medical Leave of Absence

A student who must interrupt study temporarily because of illness or injury may take a medical leave of absence. A student experiencing difficulties with their health should consult with the Associate Dean of Student Support (as well as University Health Services and/or Counseling and Psychological Services). Students may request a medical leave at any time. Medical leaves are available only to students whose academic standing permits them to continue in the degree program when they return from leave (students on warning status may have their request for leave denied). 

Students requesting a medical leave of absence initiate the process with the Associate Dean of Student Support. (No confidential information need be shared except with the Associate Dean of Student Support and health care providers.) The Medical Leave of Absence form is available in UFunds. A medical leave of absence must be supported by the student’s department, the Graduate School (see Associate Dean of Student Support, and in the Biology and Bio-Medical programs also the Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies). The student’s transcript will read only “Leave of Absence.” Students are eligible for a full year of medical leave and in all cases a full year will be approved regardless of the length of leave requested to ensure that students have adequate time to return to full health. Students may request to return after one semester. In exceptional circumstances and where program and funding structures allow, medical leaves may be approved for periods that do not fully align with the semester and summer term periods. 

Length of Leave: Students approved for amedical leave of absence are eligible for and will be approved for one year (2 semesters and a summer term) of medical leave regardless of the length of leave requested. Students may request to return from leave after one full semester.

Insurance: Students who take a medical leave of absence who have been previously insured under the Student Health Insurance Plan for the enrollment period immediately prior to taking the leave of absence are eligible to enroll in the Student Health Plan for a maximum of one (1) year. For students on Medical Leave, the Graduate School or the Division of Biology and Medicine will pay their insurance premium. It is not possible to extend enrollment in the Student Health Plan beyond this one (1) year even if the leave is extended further.

International Students: A student approved for a medical leave of absence, who intends to seek treatment in the U.S. (doctor’s note required) during the approved period of leave, may be approved to remain in the United States. Students seeking to remain in the U.S. while on medical leave are required to request this with OISSS

Accommodations: Students considering medical leave are encouraged to review, depending on their circumstances, whether accommodations through Student and Accessibility Services (SAS) might either make it possible to continue as an active registered student and/or be appropriate once a student has returned from leave.

Medical Leave Grant: The Graduate School recognizes that a medical leave of absence, particularly the temporary interruption of a stipend, can be a financial challenge. In an effort to support graduate students to prioritize their health and wellbeing, as well as alleviate the potential initial financial difficulties, graduate students are eligible to apply for a Medical Leave Grant to be paid before the beginning of a medical leave. Students should submit the Medical Leave Grant application (in UFunds).

Short-Term Medical Accommodation: The Graduate School recognizes there are times when an acute medical matter may arise that requires accommodations but not a medical leave of absence. Read further details on this accommodation in the Graduate School Handbook (see Short-Term Medical Accommodation).